Hello everyone, and welcome to 111 Archer Avenue. What started as a film review blog has become my online judgment forum. I will review the occasional movie or DVD, post an interesting trailer, critique a newly-read book, talk about sports, and share my thoughts and opinions on random issues. You can also follow me on Twitter (@OlieCoen) or check out my work on DVDTalk.com. Thank you and enjoy!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Book Review - I, Robot

Author: Isaac Asimov
Year: 1950

My first experience with Asimov was reading Robot Dreams, a collection of short stories centered around the topic of robot development, intelligence, and incorporation into the human world.  When I picked up I, Robot I was expecting something more akin to the movie.  I was very wrong, but thankfully so.  It was much more a collection than I expected, and had very little to do with the film, but this classic sci-fi masterpiece turned out to be a wonderful read.

The story of I, Robot is one of time.  It is a series of short stories, all interconnected, and chronologically placed to show the history of robot production, improvement, and integration.  The narrator and main character, Susan Calvin, works for U.S. Robotics, a company than ultimately runs the robot world.  As these man-made creations become more and more sophisticated, problems arise that must be faced, solved, and dealt with in a surprisingly human way.  The lines begin to blur between robots as slaves and robots as peers in this scientifically interesting work.

You have got to enjoy science to enjoy this book, even more so than other sc-fi novels.  There is a technical side that is very interesting, but also very in depth.  However, beyond the science is a very human element; the attempt to understand the robot brain leads to some intriguing conversations on religion, thought processes, morals, etc.  It sounds cheesy to say, but the study of robotics leads to some fascinating insights on humans.  I, Robot is part story but mostly idea, as it poses a possible future and leads us in a discussion of the various topics related to it.  A very interesting read, one of sci-fi's groundbreaking stories.

My rating: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰


  1. This book exposes the fears that lead to prejudice we all have as humans using machines as the vehicle. I have wondered if there was a purpose of getting us to look at our fears and prejudices towards others by using machines making it less threatening.

    1. I think so, it's easier (and more entertaining) to make points about humanity though a different medium, ie. robots, fantasy, animals.